8th Meeting of the ECO Council of Heads of Customs Administrations resolved to enhance cooperation

21 November 2017

At the invitation of the Economic Cooperation Organization (ECO), WCO Secretary General Kunio Mikuriya attended the 8th Meeting of the ECO Council of Heads of Customs Administrations (CHCA), hosted by the Federal Board of Revenue (FBR), in Islamabad, Pakistan, from 13 to 14 November 2017.

The ECO is an intergovernmental organization set up in 1985 by Iran, Pakistan and Turkey and now comprising of ten members with Afghanistan, Azerbaijan, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan and Uzbekistan.

At the plenary session of the ECO CHCA, following the opening addresses of the Pakistani Minister of State and Special Assistant to the Prime Minister on Revenue, Mr. Haroon Akhtar Khan and ECO Deputy Secretary General, Mr. Kanan Nazarov, WCO Secretary General Mikuriya welcomed ECO’s efforts in regional integration through simplification, modernization and standardization of Customs procedures by the use of its instruments, best practices and capacity building programmes. He emphasized the importance of the regional network of Customs in connecting the economies in the region, through trade, while protecting the society and ensuring security from illicit trade. 

The meeting reviewed the progress concerning several initiatives, including the establishment of ECO Smuggling and Customs Offences Data Bank, as well as the Electronic Exchange of Customs Information among the ECO countries.  The heads of Customs also welcomed the cooperation with the WCO and also shared their developments in Authorized Economic Operator (AEO) Programmes. All the participants appreciated the excellent organization and hospitality of the Pakistan Customs.

Dr. Mikuriya took the opportunity to hold a bilateral meeting with the Pakistani Minister of State, Mr. Haroon Akhtar Khan, together with FBR Chairman, Mr. Tariq Mahmood Pasha and FBR Member of Customs, Mr. Muhammad Zahid Khokar to discuss the way forward for the Customs reform in Pakistan.

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